North Korea on "Maximum Alert"

Both the US and South Korea believe that the recent missile test by North Korea failed.

On Wednesday Vice President Mike Pence told an audience of 2,500 US and Japanese military personnel on the flight of the USS Ronald Reagan that "storm clouds" are gathering on the horizon.

US Vice President Mike Pence earlier vowed that the United States would counter any North Korean attack with an "overwhelming and effective" response.

The proposed statement seen by AFP would have demanded that North Korea "conduct no further nuclear tests" and halt missile launches after Pyongyang carried out a failed test on Sunday. "They shouldn't try to play it at this point".

On April 14, US media reported that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea if Pyongyang made a decision to carry out another nuclear weapon test. But they said Russian Federation objected because a sentence in the draft expressing the council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation" dropped the words "through dialogue" that had been in previous statements.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said "everything" must be done to confront the threat from North Korea and ensure that its missile and nuclear programs do not pose an global threat.

CNN also quoted the unidentified official as saying that the review of military options is essentially "due diligence" and top military and civilian Pentagon officials are "thinking through every course of action", including updating analysis on how North Korea might militarily react if the United States were to take military steps. The U.S. has invited foreign ministers from the 14 other council nations and many are expected to attend. And a day later it conducted a failed missile test, which drew global condemnation. Council members can also "recommit to implementing all existing and future sanctions to maximize pressure on the DPRK to return to meaningful negotiations on denuclearization", the paper says.

  • Elsie Buchanan